Along the ridges and in the valleys there’s a hint of things to come.
The hills are beginning to catch fire.
Autumn’s glory is spreading across the land.
The back roads are calling.
The greatest show on earth is just around the corner.
-from These Storied Mountains by John Parris
Fall is definitely my favorite season. The leaves have pretty much peaked up the Blue Ridge Parkway near Boone and Blowing Rock:
I read in this week’s Smoky Mountain News (in an article by naturalist Don Hendershot) that the red color is produced by cool nights (which stops the production of chlorophyll) followed by sunshine which:
“turns the sugars trapped in the leaves into anthocyanin, producing the red color. Red and sugar maples, oaks, sumacs, dogwoods, sassafras and sourwoods commonly produce red color of various shades and hues.”
A sunset view at my mother’s house in Linville, NC:
A walk with Max in the Pisgah National Forest:
I feel like last year I wasn’t so in tune to the fall colors and in a blink of an eye the leaves had turned and fallen. This year I’ve been looking almost daily and we’ve taken family drives up the parkway each week to see the progression. It’s really interesting to see how the elevation and temperature changes can produce such a different array of color within just 60 miles, and how the color starts to change at the tops of the mountains and works its way down to the valleys over time. The parkway has plenty of yellow and orange color right now all over. Those are the silver maple, mountain maple, American beech, beech basswood, tulip poplar, hobblebush, pin cherry and hickories. A little chart I made…I’ll keep adding to it over time: